Andrew Werby

Andrew Werby graduated from the University of California in 1974 with a BA in Design. Afterwards he continued his education privately and at various institutions, learning holography, glass-blowing, video and film-making, sculpture, ceramics, machine shop, kiln-cast glass, and electronic prototyping. He first developed his “Juxtamorphic” style by making molds from specimens in the University’s Paleontology, Geology, and Anthropology departmental collections, combining the resulting castings to create cast bronze and aluminum sculpture. He later went on to found the Juxtamorphic Art Movement, with other artists finding new ways to use nature in art, which mounted self-curated group shows in Berkeley, San Francisco, and Seattle.

In 1975, he founded United Artworks, a company dedicated to the design and production of sculpture, jewelry, and architectural accessories. In 1997, he began experimenting with the adaptation of computer technology to his working process, applying scanning, modeling and milling operations to the creation of fine art. His personal work in this field includes applications of the Juxtamorphic aesthetic to digitally mediated jewelry, ceramics, woodcarving, plastics, and sculpture.

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I’m very enthusiastic about the use of digital technology in sculpture, and have retooled my sculpture process to take advantage of some of the things it makes possible. I started out by taking molds of natural objects, casting them in wax, and assembling composite objects which were then remolded and cast in various materials.

Now I do essentially the same thing by digitizing natural forms and textures with 3d scanners, then combining them in the computer using haptic (force-feedback) modeling tools. This gives me greater freedom in merging forms, as scale is no longer an issue, and shapes can be modified more easily. These composite assemblies are then produced as physical sculptures by using either computer-controlled milling machines or additive 3D printers. By using a color-capable 3D printer, I’m able to apply photographic textures, also based on images from nature, to the surfaces of my pieces, which gives them yet another level of detail. This method of working also allows me to produce maquettes, small models of proposed larger sculptures, for presentation that exactly resemble the final product, something that wasn’t possible with my earlier technique, which always was tied to full-sized objects.

While this technology, like most new ways of doing things, can be used to perform traditional tasks like the enlargement of small models to monumental size more efficiently, what excites me more is the possibility of doing things that couldn’t be done at all before. That, for me, is where the untapped potential of these new tools is to be discovered. And by working exclusively with natural forms and textures and concentrating them into art objects, I feel I’m helping to awaken people to the intrinsic beauty of the world that created us, which is so much richer than the world that we’ve created.

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